Amritsar — The deepening crisis in Akali politics took a decisive turn here on Tuesday with Baba Joginder Singh, convener of the newly merged Shiromani Akali Dal, declaring fake the faction headed by Mr. Longowal.

The 83yearold Baba, father of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, told newsmen that the merged Akali Dal launched by him on May 1 along with its nine member ad hoc committee was the only party of the Sikhs. Both opposing faction leaders had reposed complete confidence in his ability to ensure panthic unity. Hence, after prolonged cogitation, Baba Joginder Singh had arrived at the merger as the only solution for the survival of the panth. The demands of the new Dal, he said would be in accordance with the teachings of the Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs.

In Amritsar to inaugurate the office of the merged Akali Dal, Baba Joginder Singh, amidst pro Bhindranwale slogans and speeches during which a senior Akali leader, Mr. Baldev Singh Brar said that he was alive and would soon reappear declared the premises occupied by the Talwandi faction as the Dal’s “true” office. The AllIndian Sikh Student Federation (AISSF), which put up a freshly painted board outside the office behind Manji Sahib on Monday, will also operate from here.

Encircled by his closest supporters Mr. Jagdev Singh Talwandi, president Akali DalT, Mr. Atma Singh, MLA, Mr. Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, MLA, and Mr. Prakash Singh Majitha, MLA, former convener of the Akali Dal — Baba Joginder Singh said that “it was not up to the ‘Vascilating’ Government to create conditions for negotiations with the Sikhs. When the Government asks us about Khalistan,” said the Baba “We will tell them.”

When questioned about the May 22 meet of district jathedars of the Akali Dall to decide on whether or not to accept the resignation of Mr. Longowal the Baba said they would deal with it when it happened. About pulling down the Akal Takht, the octogenarian leader said that its present existence was not acceptable to the gurus, let alone mortals like him.

He was referring to the collapse of a portion of decorative awning from the Takht’s floor on May 6, which prompted the SGPC decision on May 11 to rebuild the Takht.

A new policy line regarding the ad hoc committee members who are either in jail, underground, abroad or have tendered their resignations would be considered when the ‘“Wahe Guru” willed, said Baba Joginder Singh. The Baba himself would remain convener of the committee, till Simranjit Singh Mann, former IPS officer currently interned in Bharapur jail was released. “Committees cannot be formed every day,” Baba Joginder Singh tersely remarked.

Having addressed a press conference shortly after his arrival from Rode, his village around noon on Tuesday, Baba Joginder Singh held a public meeting inside the cramped confines of the newly opened office where a number of spirited speeches were made.

Baba Joginder Singh has decided to move into one o the buildings adjoining the “Golden Temple” complex, it was learned late on Tues. day evening. Donations for the newly inaugurated office also began pouring in.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 31, 1985